VPR 2018 Murrow Awards Submission — Overall Excellence

Feb 14, 2019

Audio rundown

Gun legislation passes in Vermont:

During Gov. Phil Scott's 2016 gubernatorial campaign, he vowed to oppose any new restrictions on gun ownership.  But in the spring of 2018, he signed into law new regulations on gun ownership.

Scott said he had been wrong about the issue in the past, and he realized laws needed to change after the arrest of a young man who allegedly planned to carry out a mass shooting attack at his Vermont high school. Over the course of the year, VPR News covered the historic passage of new gun laws in one of the nation's most gun-friendly states.

JOLTED, Episode 1:

JOLTED is a five-part podcast about what happens when a young man plans a school shooting, but gets caught before he shoots anyone. It’s about the line between thought and crime. And, it’s about a Republican governor, in a rural state, who changed his mind about gun laws.

Kiah Morris interview:

Rep. Kiah Morris resigned last year over racial harassment. This was her first interview on VPR’s daily talk show, Vermont Edition, following her initial decision to not run for re-election.

Speeding ticket investigation:

This three-part investigation looked into which towns issue the most speeding tickets and just who profits from them.

Law enforcement issued more than 24,000 tickets worth upwards of $4 million in fines to drivers in Vermont in 2017. A quarter were issued in just three Vermont towns: Plymouth, Bridgewater and Mount Tabor.  In these towns, revenue from heavy speed enforcement completely offsets the cost of law enforcement for taxpayers. 

Canadian dairy farmers:

While Vermont dairy farmers are experiencing some of the hardest times in recent memory, their counterparts in Quebec are thriving. The reason is a complex system that regulates the supply of milk and sets the price farmers receive.

Christine Hallquist wins Democratic gubernatorial primary:

In August, Christine Hallquist became the first openly transgender candidate in U.S. history to win a major party gubernatorial nomination.

Gubernatorial candidate debate:

VPR hosts Jane Lindholm and Bob Kinzel hosted an hour-long debate with the candidates for Vermont governor. The debate was broadcast live statewide on VPR and also on Vermont PBS.

They Are Us series:

They Are Us is a seven-part special series about mental health in Vermont. Each episode highlights personal stories from inside the state's mental health care system.

State money and Keurig:

Over the last 20 years, the state of Vermont has authorized more than $10 million in payments to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. The company, known for its K-Cup pods, is just one of many Vermont businesses that have used state incentive programs aimed at creating jobs. But exactly how much money Keurig received and what the company did with it is shrouded in secrecy.

Immigration enforcement in Vermont:

A longtime Vermont resident was scheduled to be deported back to his native Kenya. His family says they are the victims of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration issues. That policy has led to thousands of families being separated while trying to enter the country — but, as this story demonstrates, removing parents from their children is not just happening at the southern border.

Outdoor Radio:

The whip-poor-will is a threatened species in Vermont, due in part to the decline of habitat that best suits these nocturnal birds. Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra head out to West Haven, Vermont, at dusk to brave a cloud of mosquitoes in search of the song of the threatened whip-poor-will.

Brave Little State:

Brave Little State is a people-powered podcast from VPR. Each month our journalists answer a listener-submitted question about Vermont. In March 2018, the team set out to answer this question: Just how culturally different is the Northeast Kingdom from the rest of the state? Can it be quantified in any way, or is it largely legend?

Newscast:

VPR hosts six morning newscasts each weekday during Morning Edition. We cover the state of Vermont and within our newscasts we strive to provide coverage that resonates with listeners throughout the state and region.

Digital content

Daily coverage:

Longer-term projects:

Explainers:

Audience engagement:

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